Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers: Week 6
Tired of leaving Brandon Lloyd on your bench yet?
Does Matt Forte make you pull your hair out because he’s the most unpredictable player in fantasy football?
Fantasy football can be frustrating (I know), but if you’re reeling, there’s plenty of time for you to get right back into the race.
Who should you be starting?
Who should you be picking up off the waiver wire?
Who should you be dropping with no regard?
NFL Soup has you covered from every angle, so read on to see who’s value is on the rise, as well as which guys you can start to forget about…for now.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have the worst statistical passing offense in the league through four games, but, as we know, this can be attributed directly to the suspension of Ben Roethlisberger.
These kinds of things happen when Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch are your quarterbacks.
With Big Ben back in action this week, the Steelers are essentially acquiring a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
I expect Roethlisberger to come back with authority against the Browns, and, with solid receiving options, I think he’ll regain his status as a weekly fantasy starter.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles (as he should’ve been all along) finally appears to have taken hold of the running back job for the Chiefs.
He was splitting carries with the aging Thomas Jones for most of the early part of the season, but Charles got twice as many carries against the Colts.
With his big-play ability, he could flourish the way he did towards the end of last season.
While he may not have a giant game against a solid Texans run defense this week, he’s a guy that can break a huge run at any time.
His value was sketchy while he was sharing time with Jones, but if he’s finally entrenched as the No. 1 guy, Charles’ productions should rise.
Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Rice hadn’t at all lived up to his first-round draft position through the first four games of the season, but was finally able to break-out in the win over Denver, carrying 27 times for 133 yards with two touchdowns.
Many owners were very down on him after he hadn’t scored a touchdown through the first few weeks, but he’s actually gone over 80 yards on the ground in three of the five games thus far, with his only two lackluster efforts coming against top-tier defenses in the Jets and Steelers.
Rice can do it all, and he finally appears primed to live up to his preseason draft position.
The Patriots will have had two weeks to gameplan for him, but I still think he’s in for a second consecutive solid week.
He’s back to must-start status until further notice.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, Denver Broncos
Lloyd has gone over 100 yards receiving in four of the first five games this season, including three straight
Plus, those three straight 100-yard efforts have come against pretty good defenses in the Colts, Titans, and Ravens.
Even though he’s going against the Jets this week, I’m done picking against Lloyd.
If you have him, you have to start him until he reverts back to his old, useless ways…if that happens at all.
The Broncos are a pass-happy team, and Lloyd has been the biggest benefactor by far.
Malcom Floyd, WR, San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers has been the No. 1 fantasy quarterback through the first five games, and Malcom Floyd is clearly the preferred target not named Antonio Gates.
He exploded against the Raiders last week, catching eight passes for 213 yards with a touchdown in the loss.
Floyd has gone over 90 yards in three of the five games this season, and will continue to thrive until Vincent Jackson comes back into the fold.
Rivers has the hot hand, and you should ride Floyd as long as possible.
Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Celek, essentially an afterthought when Michael Vick was playing, has averaged 10 targets in the two games in which Kevin Kolb has played most of the game.
He’s scored in each of the past two weeks, and, as long as Kolb is in there, Celek’s value skyrockets.
With Kolb’s inability to get the ball downfield effectively to DeSean Jackson, Celek and LeSean McCoy become the primary targets.
He was a capable fantasy option when Donovan McNabb was his quarterback, and we’re seeing more of the same from Kevin Kolb.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
While his numbers on paper still look decent, Brees on the field doesn’t look quite like the guy we saw light up the league in 2009.
The absence of Reggie Bush has done more harm to the Saints offense than we imagined, and he hasn’t been able to consistently find his old No. 1 guy, Marques Colston.
I’d still have a very tough time sitting the guy, but he’s not carrying your team like he could last season.
By no means am I writing Brees off, but he hasn’t yet developed a rhythm in 2010.
Thomas Jones, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
With Charles as a riser, Jones is naturally a faller.
As we already touched on, Jones’ carries look as if they’re on a downturn.
He’ll still get his fair share of opportunities, and, who knows, maybe he’ll find the end zone every now and then.
But with Jamaal Charles as “the guy”, Jones is on the downside.
Mike Tolbert, RB, San Diego Chargers
Tolbert scored last week, but he had just 11 yards rushing on 12 carries.
If that’s not getting it done, I don’t know what is.
The team wants to tab Ryan Mathews as the primary back, and I’d imagine that if he’s feeling healthier, Tolbert’s field time will dwindle.
Tolbert’s four touchdowns this season are hard to ignore, and he still seems like a likely candidate to get some goal-line carries at worst.
You might be able to get away with playing him in the flex, but I’m not sure how relevant he’ll be if Mathews is ready to go.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers
After a decent week one, Jennings has been M.I.A. in the Packers’ passing attack for the most part.
He still has three touchdowns, but he has no more than 36 yards in any of the last four games.
His role could increase with the absence of Jermichael Finley, but if he’s fighting double coverage every play, I’m not a huge fan of his chances.
We’re still waiting for the vaunted Green Bay passing attack to truly strike the way we know it can, but until we see it, expectations for Jennings’ output should be tempered.
Plus, if Matt Flynn is the Packers’ QB this week in place of Aaron Rodgers, Jennings’ chances for a breakout against the Dolphins take yet another hit.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Everyone in the Cowboys organization is in love with Dez Bryant, but his injury issues combined with the resurgence of Roy Williams make Bryant a risky play at this point.
Bryant caught eight passes in his first-ever NFL game in week one against Washington, but has just nine catches combined in the last three games.
As long as Roy Williams is prominent, Bryant is the fourth option in Tony Romo’s passing attack.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a fourth receiving option with much fantasy relevance, and I don’t think Bryant is an exception.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Not that Gronk had much value to begin with, but I think with Randy Moss now in Minnesota, Aaron Hernandez is going to establish himself as the outright No. 1 tight end for Tom Brady.
Gronkowski has gotten the majority of the targets in the red zone thus far, but, with the potential of Hernandez, I think that will change.
Gronkowski has at least one catch every week, but one catch does not equal fantasy value.
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